11 ways to painlessly change your organization

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” ― Heraclitus

From time to time, each of us wants – or is asked to – make changes in our personal or professional lives. Many of us struggle to leave behind the familiar and move into the unknown. When we initiate change in the workplace, usually it’s because we want to achieve something concrete – we reorganize, install new software systems, and develop quality-improvement projects, for example.

Yet research by McKinsey & Company, confirmed by other researchers, indicates 70% of all such efforts to implement change will fail. If we initiate change to get better results, why don’t these initiatives work? Too often, the human side of business is left out of the equation. The people in our workplaces will determine whether the desired change is successful and achieves the intended results.

All of us want to be heard, feel a sense of belonging, and recognize that we are valued. When we are left out of sharing our thoughts, perspectives, and ideas on issues that affect us and the organization, we don’t feel we are valued, that our opinion matters, or that we belong. If employees are to be committed to a change, it’s important they be included in the process. This does not mean they make the decision; it means their opinion matters and their input is sought. People will feel good when management asks their opinion, but another benefit of seeking broad input is that the team sponsoring a change gains knowledge that can and should inform their plan.

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